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5 of the hottest SIM-only deals right now

5 of the hottest SIM-only deals right now
Rob Flynn

Rob Flynn

Staff Writer

From GoMo to Tesco Mobile, there's plenty of great value to be had with these five SIM-only deals available for sign up right now.

SIM-only plans have fast become a mainstay of mobile operators' product offering and are now one of the best ways to get an exceptional mobile experience inexpensively.

Whether you’re looking for a generous allowance of data, calls or texts per month, don't want to be locked into a contract, or simply want access to a better mobile network, a SIM-only plan might be the one for you.

In this article we'll take a look at five of the hottest SIM-only deals right now which offer exceptional value for money for consumers.

1. GoMo - €14.99 For Life

Since entering the market less than two years ago GoMo has gone from strength to strength and the mobile network now has over a quarter of a million customers, which is a testament to just how popular it is. 

With its SIM-only proposition GoMo is offering new customers who sign up 'unlimited' data, calls and texts for only €14.99 per month. This plan comes on a rolling monthly contract and customers can cancel at any time for free.

What’s more is that this deal has a ‘for life’ guarantee so the price you pay each month won’t go up unless you cancel the plan.

This plan from GoMo uses the Eir network and promises 99% population coverage across Ireland. However it only offers 4G data, as do all the plans in this list.

When it comes to the 'unlimited' data on offer it’s technically not unlimited, as a fair usage policy applies. This is the same for most 'unlimited' plans unless it's stated otherwise. However with GoMo its fair usage cap is 120GB of data per month, which is among the highest available from any provider, and 45,000 minutes of calls and 10,000 texts. 

Should you use more data than the fair usage allows, GoMo reserves the right to reduce your speed, but some customers have said their speeds have remained respectable at 3 to 5Mbps.

GoMo customers can also use their full allowance of calls and texts while roaming in the EU along with a data allowance of 10GB per month. However, this 10GB isn't in addition to your 120GB monthly allowance, it's part of it, so it's important to bear this in mind if you consume a lot of data each month and plan on travelling abroad.

Since launching in 2019 GoMo’s no-frills approach has proved very popular with its existing customers, even retaining the title of Best BillPay Mobile Phone Plan for the second year at this year’s bonkers.ie National Consumer Awards.

We should mention though that GoMo recently announced that this deal would be finishing on March 31st, though has extended this until 8th April, so if you want to avail of this price for life you’ll have to sign up before then.

Additionally, before this offer ends existing GoMo customers can add a second SIM and receive one month free, so perhaps consider signing up a friend!

Price for 12 months: €179.88.

2. Virgin Mobile - €15 for 12 months

Next up is Virgin Mobile’s unlimited SIM-only plan, part of its BIG mobile offer, where new and existing mobile customers can get 'unlimited' calls, texts, and data for only €15 per month for 12 months.

After the initial 12 months is up, the deal will revert to the standard price of €25 per month. However, this plan is also on a rolling, 30-day contract so customers can cancel at any time without being charged. 

Like most SIM-only plans Virgin's ‘unlimited’ calls and texts are subject to a fair usage policy of 10,000 minutes and 10,000 texts per month, which can be made to any number in the Republic of Ireland or while roaming within the EU.

Customers will likely be more interested however in its data allowance, which includes a fair usage policy of 80GB per month. While this isn't quite as high as GoMo it should still be more than enough for the average SIM-only customer.

Virgin Mobile uses the Three network which offers 99% population coverage for 4G services so customers more familiar with that network might feel more comfortable with this plan.

When it comes to data roaming in the EU, out of the 80GB customers have an allowance of 13.6GB per month, so a bit extra than GoMo.

Similar to GoMo, existing Virgin Mobile customers can add an additional SIM to avail of the €15 offer, up to a maximum of 4 SIMs per account.

Price for 12 months: €180.

3. Clear Mobile - €12.99 For Life

For those who may not be too familiar with the name, Clear Mobile is the new, low-cost, online-only mobile brand from Vodafone which launched at the beginning of 2021.

Customers who sign up can get their hands on unlimited calls, texts, and data for only €12.99 per month on a rolling, 30-day contract.

Clear Mobile will use Vodafone's network which offers 99% 4G population coverage across the country so customers who prefer the reliability of this network but prefer the no-frills approach of an online sign up might just have found the plan for them.

And at the moment the budget mobile brand that’s attempting to rival GoMo and other mobile competitors is offering the first month free for the first 25,000 customers who sign up. After this a €12.99 joining fee applies, payable along with your first month’s bill.

However, there are a few differences between this plan and the others in this list.

For a start Clear Mobile has not implemented a fair usage policy for customers' 4G data usage, which means data truly is unlimited in every sense of the word. Customers will also have an allowance of 10GB data while roaming in the EU and UK. 

However (there’s always a catch!) customers' speeds are restricted to a maximum of 5Mbps, so your connection won’t be nearly as fast as it potentially would be with other 4G plans out there. Realistically your download speeds will be more akin to 3G.

This information will be of particular importance to customers hoping to use their phone as a hotspot as the max speed will still apply when using apps or browsing the web.

When it comes to unlimited calls and texts the fair usage threshold is 45,000 minutes and 10,000 texts per month, which will also apply when roaming.

Customers should also know that there’s no allowance for international calls and texts with this plan, unlike with most of Vodafone’s plans.

Price for 12 months: €155.88.

4. 48 - €10.99 SIM-only

Certainly one for those who like a bargain, this super cheap SIM-only plan from 48, which also uses the Three network, is offering unlimited calls, texts and 100GB of data for only €10.99 per month.

48 originally launched back in 2012 as Ireland’s ‘first youth-focused, digital mobile brand’ and only last summer revamped its look and re-launched into the Irish market.

Where 48 really differentiates its offering is how it gives customers more use and control over their data, allowing you to swap minutes for data each month, save data for a rainy day, including being able to roll over a certain amount of unused data into the next month.

Where this plan from 48 also differentiates itself is the ability to ‘try before you buy’, unavailable with any other mobile offering. All SIMs from 48 come with a free 1GB so you can try out the network in full before signing up.

When it comes to roaming, 48 isn't quite so generous as some of the other plans, offering 10GB a month, provided you have data available when you travel.

For example, if you use 95GB in Ireland you’ll only have 5GB left for the rest of the month which will also be your roaming allowance in the EU & UK.

Overall this is a great value plan and does well to shake up the market, providing particular flexibility by way of data allowances for customers who use more data than any other feature.

Price for 12 months: €131.88.

5. Tesco Mobile - €20, 30-day SIM-only plan

Last but not least in our list is Tesco Mobile, another popular mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), like Virgin, Clear, and 48 above, whose €20 per month SIM-only plan comes on a rolling, 30-day contract.

With this plan Tesco Mobile is offering 'unlimited' any network calls, texts, and data for customers in the Republic. Similar to Virgin, Tesco Mobile uses the Three network in Ireland.

What distinguishes this SIM-only plan from the rest is its generous international call offering of 300 international minutes per month to select countries, or five hours - perfect for any expats who want to phone home whether that's Poland, the UK, or the USA.

Tesco Mobile's fair usage policy for data is capped at 60GB per month, the lowest cap from the providers listed here. That being said, the average mobile user generally won't use more than 10 to 15GB per month. However, if you're considering tethering your phone and using it as a hotspot quite a bit it might be worthwhile choosing one of the above plans with a higher fair usage for data as Tesco will charge you 3 cent per Mb for anything above your allowance.

Its fair usage policy for calls and texts however should be more than enough with 10,000 any network minutes and 10,000 any network texts to landlines and mobiles and while roaming in the EU,

For data roaming in the EU, this plan has an ever so slightly higher data roaming allowance than the likes of GoMo and Clear of 10.8GB per month.

As this SIM-only deal is a bit more 'pricey' compared to its rivals, if you’re looking to get value for money each month you’d need to be making good use of the international minutes available (with all the other plans you’d be paying out-of-bundle rates which can be costly).

All in all, this plan combines a reliable network with all the data, calls and texts you'll realistically need as well as a generous allocation of international call minutes.

Price for 12 months: €240

Choosing the right SIM-only plan

The right plan for you will depend on your own individual preferences, but apart from cost, here are the main things that you'll want to consider:

  • Calls and texts per month
  • Fair usage policy
  • Data allowance
  • International calls and texts
  • EU roaming allowance 
  • Network coverage
  • Download speeds
  • 4G versus 5G
  • Sign-up incentives 
  • Customer service 
  • Contract length

As always, at bonkers.ie we recommend that you research all your options thoroughly before making any decisions, especially if it entails signing up to a long-term contract!

And don't forget that the above plans are just a selection of the many SIM-only deals on offer right now, more of which you can read about here, and you can still consider a billpay plan should you like to purchase the latest piece of tech.

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